Of the Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa ashramas of human life, the most exalted is Sanyasa.
Persons who enter the Sanyasa ashrama are revered by the rest of society knowing well that only self realised souls would have the strength to accept the renounced order of life -giving up material pleasures for spiritual advancement.
The Sanyasi subsequently plays the role of guide and teacher (Acharya) for the rest of society to train and advice interested persons in spiritual matters
Malaysia too has its share of Sanyasis who are represented by the Malaysia Hindu Advisory Acharya Sabha (Mahaa Sabha).
The Mahaa Sabha created history this year by organising the first ever national Hindu forum on Jan 21, attended by most of the nation’s prominent Sanyasis and spiritualists.
This feat was achieved by the Mahaa Sabha under the chairmanship of renowned Vedanta scholar Swamy Brahmananda Saraswathy, the founder of Brahma Vidyaranyam (Centre of Self Knowledge) at Sungai Kob Hills in Kulim, Kedah ably assisted by his deputy Swamy Ramaji who leads the Hindu Sevai Sangam.
The day long forum held at Auditorium RMIC, Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur featured two research paper presentations, talks by attending Sanyasis and critical discussions by panelists comprising Sanyasis and religious leaders.
In the first research paper titled “Hindu Dharma as it is” Swamy Brahmananda helped to clarify the confusion in the minds of Hindus and non-Hindus alike on what constitutes real Hinduism.
His paper clearly outlined the core teaching of Hinduism and dispelled the confusing state of affairs plagueing the religion through the gross misinterpretation and overzealousness of some religious bigots.
In his paper titled “Various Traditions and Malaysian Hindus’ Social Challenges and Solutions”, a youthful Guruji Sakthipriyananda shocked the audience with a graphic presentation of the bare facts behind the social ills problem faced by Malaysian Indians.
Identifying selfishness as the root cause of social ills the Mahaa Sabha secretary also offered a viable solution to the problem.
He called on troubled parents not to rack their brains over their problem children but to tap the hidden power of their hearts. Via the heart which holds the key to bonding with others, parents can achieve universal understanding and subsequently transform their children into peace loving beings.
The organisers’ promise that the forum will be an annual affair and might be taken to other States throughout the year is expected to raise the awareness level of Malaysian Hindus and unite the various factions within the community.
By R. Sittamparam